Local News

Proposed Chapel Hill Development Faces Hurdle Monday Night

Posted May 9, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— A 435-acre planned community that developers want to create in Chapel Hill faces a hurdle Monday night. The town council will decide whether to grant one of the permits needed to get the project started.

No matter how the vote goes, people are bound to be unhappy. The Meadowmont project has met with opposition for approximately seven years, from nearby homeowners and from others in and around Chapel Hill.

One homeowner, Tom Egan, said he feels a proposed connector road that would link his street with Meadowmont would both add to traffic volume and cause safety problems, particularly for neighborhood children. Egan said it would change the quality of life he expected to have when he bought the property.

Urban planners disagree with Egan's position. They say such planned communities, which unite various living units with shops and offices, are a more compact and efficient way to use land, and are more environmentally friendly.

Emil Malizia, a Meadowmont supporter, said he believes such projects accommodate growth and he doesn't foresee any "deleterious effects" on the quality of life.

Meadowmont is projected for a site across from the Friday Center on Highway 54. It would be the largest development project in Chapel Hill's history.

A lawsuit is expected to challenge Monday's decision, whatever it turns out to be.